The US has bucked the trend of
banks in mature markets cutting employment numbers.

In the 12 months to 30 June, total
full-time equivalent employees (FTE) at the largest 20 retail
banks, increased by almost 7% to 1.14m.

There has been much comment about
major banks around the world slashing jobs, with the blame
generally attributed to the state of the global economy and an
increasingly harsh regulatory environment.

In August, HSBC talked about the
need to axe 30,000 jobs around the world.

During the third quarter, UK-based
Lloyds Banking Group announced that around 16,800 positions will be
eliminated – around 16% of its total workforce – while in Europe,
Intesa SanPaolo, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Credit Suisse and
Barclays have all announced a wave of large-scale job losses.

But in the US, total FTEs increased
at 16 of the largest 20 retail banks in the year to 30 June

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Of the top 20, only Regions, Royal
Bank of Scotland’s subsidiary Citizens and KeyCorp show significant
job losses. Having cut total FTEs by 8% in the year to June 2010,
Regions lost another 3.4% FTEs this year.

Notable increases in employment
were reported by Chase and Toronto Dominion.

By contrast, in the year to 30 June
2010, total employment fell at 12 of the 20 largest retail banks
with total employment at the largest 20 banks declining by

Employment increased in the year to
this June at banks such as HSBC and Santander, which both cut jobs
heavily in the prior year, by 9% and 15% respectively.

Looking ahead, the effects of
banks’ various cost-cutting exercises are likely to be reflected in
employment statistics with Bank of America reportedly planning to
eliminate up to 30,000 jobs.

In marked contrast, Chase said in February that it was looking
to open around another 1,500-2,000 branches during the next five
years. Chase will open 500 net new branches in California and more
than 375 outlets in Florida by 2016.

Table showing the total employees (full-time equivalent) at 20 largest US retail banks H111 v H110